Could this be the end of the Mora Scale? Depending on the results of this weekend's games, all 12 spots in the NFL p-p-playoffs!!! could be wrapped up with a week to go.
While that possibility makes us melancholy about next week, it sure makes this week exciting. And besides, the NFC East will take care of us, right? No way that just gets wrapped up neatly with a week to go.
Anyway, in honor of former Colts coach Jim Mora's most famous news conference -- and for possibly the last time in 2015 -- we present this week's rundown of the games with playoff implications.
FOUR MORAS: Games with significant playoff implications for both teams
Washington Redskins (7-7) at Philadelphia Eagles (6-8): It starts out simple. With a win in Philly on Saturday night, Washington is the 2015 NFC East champion -- and as a bonus, guaranteed not to finish under .500, as we've all long assumed the NFC champion would! But if the Eagles win this one, all they have to do is beat the Giants next week to win the division. And if Washington loses this one and next week, and the Giants win this week and beat the Eagles next week, then the Giants win the division at 8-8. And if this game ends in a tie ... ah, forget it. Just remember it started out simple.
Cincinnati Bengals (11-3) at Denver Broncos (10-4): No Andy Dalton again, but maybe Peyton Manning? This juicy Monday Night Football matchup drips with playoff implications. A Cincy win gives the Bengals a first-round bye and another week to get Dalton healthy. A Denver win opens up the AFC North for the Steelers to steal. A Denver loss puts the Broncos in jeopardy of losing the division to the Chiefs and missing the playoffs completely. And even if you forget all of that, think of the fantasy championships that are going to come down to this game. No, don't throw it to Emmanuel Sanders, throw it to Demaryius Thomas!!! Ahhhhhh!!!
New England Patriots (12-2) at New York Jets (9-5): A win gives the Patriots home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs, AGAIN, and yet a good chunk of the conference is rooting for them in this game. A Jets loss could conceivably help the Broncos, Steelers and Chiefs lock up playoff spots this week. Also, the Jets could win out and miss the playoffs with an 11-5 record, which is so Jets. Except for the 11-5 part.
New York Giants (6-8) at Minnesota Vikings (9-5)*: The asterisk means this could drop to a three-Mora game or even a two-Mora game depending on Saturday's result. If Washington wins Saturday, the Giants are eliminated from playoff contention, though you could argue the same happens if Odell Beckham Jr. loses his appeal. The Vikings clinch a playoff spot with a win, but again, that could be irrelevant, because a win earlier in the day by either Carolina or Seattle would lock up Minnesota's spot by kickoff Sunday night. So we reserve the right to take away Moras.
THREE MORAS: Both teams are still in contention, but at least one could use a rope or something to grab on to
Carolina Panthers (14-0) at Atlanta Falcons (7-7): Technically not out yet, Atlanta needs a series of Christmas miracles in order to come back to playoff life. The toughest may be beating an undefeated division rival that just clobbered them 38-0 two weeks ago. Be careful of that Josh Norman guy. I hear he's an instigator.
TWO MORAS: One of the these teams is in it, the other is booking cruise reservations
Houston Texans (7-7) at Tennessee Titans (3-11): The biannual battle between two teams I always get mixed up when I'm typing. Kind of like "biannual" and "biennial," except with T's. No mixing up what's on the field, though, as Houston wins the division with a win and a Colts loss. Tennessee (which used to play in Houston) is homing in on the No. 1 pick.
Cleveland Browns (3-11) at Kansas City Chiefs (9-5): The Chiefs haven't lost since the Falcons were 5-1, Kirk Cousins was a punchline and Johnny Manziel was still on the bench. Or was he on the bench in October? I forget. We were all so young. Anyway, K.C. still has a shot at the division if the Broncos muck it up. And they clinch their playoff spot if they win here and either the Jets or Steelers lose.
Indianapolis Colts (6-8) at Miami Dolphins (5-9): Out of quarterbacks and almost out of time, Indy needs a win and a bunch of help, or next week's going to be all about what kind of general manager Peyton Manning would make.
ONE MORA: Games that matters for seeding purposes only
Green Bay Packers (10-4) at Arizona Cardinals (12-2): Both teams are in already, but the Packers could still steal the No. 2 seed away from Arizona if they win here and things break right for them next week. Aaron Rodgers doesn't have a 300-yard game since Week 10 and only has three all year. Can he start a hot streak in the desert?